fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "huge amount of money" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Margaret Dotley" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2019 04:00:18 -0700
Subject: Finish My Last Wish''
Goodday to you,it is good to write you
this mail from the depth of my
heart with all sincerity and honesty, I
am Margret Dotley, A widow to
the Late Mr.Dotley, who was a big
business merchant in Europe and Hong
I am 60yrs old and I have been
diagnosed with Esophageal cancer which
has defile all forms of medical
treatment, and right now I have only
about a few months to live, according
to my doctors and medical
experts,i have finally been transferred
to my hometown and my bad
health is gradually terminating my life
and right now my days on earth
are numbered and I have not
particularly lived my life so well,as I
never really cared for anyone (not even
myself) and now i want to
disburse and give away my Fortunes,Real
estate,Arms to the poor and
some huge amount of money to do charity
works and humatitarian
projects through you as directed after
much prayers seeking a
honest/trustworthy person to do this
for my last wish to come true
soon,so i awaits your urgent reply at
my private email: